Hear.com Sounds Off On How To Build the Best Remote Sales Team
April 27, 2020
In January, we started planning a live Q&A all about improving the sales coaching experience with our friends at Modern Sales Pros. However, as the world has shifted since March to be fully remote, we knew that the conversation (and your questions) about how to have the best coaching conversations with your sales reps would have to shift, too.
While we do have remote, client-facing folks at Ambition, going totally remote was new to us, too. We knew that in order to really bring it, we’d need reinforcements from the remote-first world of hiring, sales training, and sales coaching. Enter: VP of Partner Success at Hear.com, Martijn Letteboer.
The team at Hear.com has built, managed, coached, and trained a distributed staff of 1200 employees across 11 locations and 9 countries. From day one, their sales organization has been fully remote and work-from-home. Over the course of an hour, Martijn (and our own VP of Sales, Mark McWatters) shared tons of incredible tips with the audience and his advice was too good not to shout from the rooftops.
Below are Martijn’s top tips for creating an unstoppable, remote sales team, or scroll to the bottom of this post for the full recording of our chat with Mark, Richard, and Martijn.
1.) The only way to grow fast in the right ways is to have the best sales talent...
… and the best talent lives all over the world. Because Hear.com sells to a target audience that demographically skews older and the addressable market is so vast (only 10% of people who need a hearing device, have a hearing device) the leaders at Hear.com knew that they’d need the best of the best in order to cover the ground necessary to win with such a vast, underserved, and hard-to-reach audience. By being willing early on to forego the stereotype that sales teams *must* be together on the same sales floor, they were able to innovate and become a global market leader.
What’s Martijn’s favorite question when hiring remote sales people? “Ask them, 'What do you think the disadvantages are of working from home?', if they don’t have an answer, then that’s a big, red flag.”
2.) New sales initiatives kick off with a sales training bootcamp
Speaking of accountability, for Martijn and team, while weekly video 1:1s are a given, they learned early on that when there’s a new initiative - for example, how to pitch a new pricing plan - structure is key. While the term “bootcamp” may sound a little intimidating, the gains are well worth the effort. In the Hear.com example, with the help of call coaching software, leaders can model the exact way that they want the pitch for new pricing to sound, reps then have 2 weeks to study the recordings, practice their pitch, and then at the end of each “module”, they have an exam where they demonstrate their proficiency with the new pitch. Those that pass get to start selling the new features, those that don’t are given opportunities to improve. This method ensures that distributed sellers proactively have clear guidelines when it comes to how they approach new material and leaders have the peace of mind that reps are having the right conversations before they actually get in front of prospective customers.
3.) Don't Underestimate The Power of Visibility
When it comes to making sure that Martijn feels connected to his reps, it may seem really simple, but he treats video calls like he would a casual Slack or an IRL desk drive-by. Instead of using video calls as a proxy for formalized meetings, they actually will video call each other without asking. Every touchpoint leaders have with reps, no matter how big or small is as “face-to-face” as possible and that effort (and requirement) goes a long way to create a sense of community and accountability.
When it comes to tracking activities, having real-time alerts to celebrate wins, and seeing details of everyone's day-to-day efforts, Martijn was kind enough to tell everyone that Ambition made it way easier for the sales org to have full visibility, “Ambition made it way easier for us. Everyone could see everyone."
However, it isn’t all business all the time, Martijn and team also make time to have scheduled fun virtually, too, in structured ways. In fact, he maintains making time at least once a week to have fun and be human with each other is critical to keeping a remote culture healthy and thriving. Some of their best ideas? Remote “Guess Who”, Remote Bingo, and - Martijn’s personal favorite: Remote Karaoke (rumor has it that Martijn’s basically the Dutch answer to Neil Diamond).
Learn how Ambition can help you build a world-class remote sales culture here.
or Watch the full Q&A below:
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